Third edition. Written by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister
If you are managing creative professionals, this is a book for you. In my professional life I develop software and I manage Software Engineers. At the time of writing I have not had any formal training as a manager, this book gave me perspective and allowed me to apply theory to practice.
I needed experience in my field to appreciate the book. If you have little professional experience, you will get little value from reading it.
The book gives a colorful and opinionated description of how to manage software teams in medium and large organizations. There are many anecdotes and some of the theories seem to be based on just these anecdotes, but they are situations that any software professional will recognize. The authors refer to opinion polls that they have circulated in organizations, and draw many of their conclusions based on these, but since they are not peer reviewed and the statistical approaches are not described, your should take them with a grain of salt.
Can you imagine what it would have been like if you boss had taken you out for lunch, day in, day out, for a month and thrown good advice at you? That is what this book is. It will allow you to see your organisation in a different light. You will better be able to understand the forces in play, where the decisions are made and what their consequences are likely to be.